Renato Bova Scoppa on the “Jewish problem in Romania” in 1941

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Addressed to R. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome.

Bucharest, 19th July 1941/XIX

Re: Jewish problem in Romania

The reconquest of Bukovina and of Bessarabia, where Jewish communities are particularly numerous, has prompted the Government to adopt draconian anti-Jewish measures.

The Jewish-Communist uprisings in Galatz and in Jassy last month (my telegrams no. 699 and 704 of 29th and 30th June last and no. 707 of 1st inst. ) had already resulted in savage repressions of a markedly anti-Semitic nature.

Now, although it has not been officially declared, the problem of cleansing the eastern Romanian territories of Jews is being tackled resolutely and the Authorities in charge strive to solve it as thoroughly as possible and do not hesitate to employ even the most drastic means. Reportedly deportations, expulsions and even executions are fairly large in numbers. Since news of this had already begun to leak out in the other regions of Romania as well, it has been considered advisable today to make the following official announcement which attempts to give a plausible reason for events that are actually quite different.

Having ascertained that the Jews of Galicia are trying by all available means to enter Romania illegally, General Antonescu has ordered that the entry of these elements into Romanian territory be absolutely forbidden. Jews who have crossed the border or who will attempt to do so will be considered

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as spies and shot. Border guards who allow or are not sufficiently alert to prevent this immigration from happening will be punished as accomplices and shot like the guilty immigrants.

R. Bova Scoppa

References

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In March 1919, Benito Mussolini founded a movement called “Fasci di combattimento”, which became the Partito Nazionale Fascista (PNF) in November 1921. On 28 October 1922 he organised the “March on Rome”, following which King Vittorio Emanuele III of Savoy invited him to form a new government. Mussolini transformed the government into a dictatorship and then into a totalitarian state. After Italy left the League of Nations in 1937, the “Rome-Berlin Axis”, proclaimed in 1936, developed into a clo...

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